Implications of antibiotic exposure among children in low-income and middle income countries

Ioana D. Olaru, Dan Kibuule, B Godman

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Günther Fink and colleagues are to be congratulated for their analysis of antibiotic exposure among children younger than 5 years in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) with a range of common illnesses, including cough, fever, diarrhoea, and malaria.1 The authors explain that their study1 is the first to use a robust method to comprehensively quantify cumulative antibiotic exposure among children in LMICs by obtaining nationally representative data from surveys of households and formal-sector health-care facilities. Quantifying exposure is important, as previous surveys have only had limited coverage in low-income settings, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries, which have the highest incidence of infectious diseases globally.2,3 However, quantifying true antibiotic use in LMICs might be difficult if antibiotics are frequently purchased without a prescription due to issues with affordability and access. Obtaining antibiotics in this way accounts for up to 93% of all antibiotics dispensed in some LMICs.4,5 The remaining 7% or more include antibiotics obtained from ambulatory care and inpatient hospital care.2 Antimicrobial resistance is a growing public
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-147
Number of pages2
JournalLancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Early online date13 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020


  • antibiotic exposure
  • low income countries
  • middle income countries


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